What have I been doing lately instead of composing frequent, witty, thoughtful blogular commentaries on the world around me?
Well, the vege garden is looking very fine at the moment with the first brocolli ready to eat tomorrow and some tiny dark green nubbins of tomatoes popping out. Because its inside a plastic-house I have to water it even when there's been a lot of rain, and because it's sheltered from most wind, watering is a slow and careful exercise of not getting tomato leaves wet (and thus inviting fungi and moulds). So slowly and carefully do I water in fact, that there is plenty of time to pull all the weeds out at the same time.
And I've been making more an effort to socialise (as in actual face to face contact with other human beings in the same room) than I have for oh, at least two or three years. I still enjoy solitude most of the time, but that 'most' is quite a shift away from the hermit-like existence that I was dedicated to when I first moved to Northland 18 months ago. Yesterday I enjoyed visiting my local bibliophile-buddy who likes to lend me books and who has lots of books worth borrowing.
One of the books I borrowed yesterday is called Artist's Journals and Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages by Lynne Perrella. It's wonderfully inspiring, as I've been really trying for some time to make my journals more colourful, textured, and playful (initially inspired by The decorated page by Gwen Diehn, also good but not quite so juicy). Immediately on arriving home with this book I started playing with my journal, experimenting boldly to various degrees of satisfaction.
One of my favourite things I read is that if you aren't happy with how a page looks you can just paint it all out and start again with another layer. You can do that?! Oh wow, the freedom... I feel like my imagination is all getting all stretchy and succulent as I let go of being precious about what I write and draw and abandon old rules and prejudices about collage and rubber stamps and texture and colour. I'm literally pushing my own artist's book boundaries by letting my journal bulge, buckle, sprawl and splay in an unseemly and undignified manner.